Morgan Wallen Repeats as Top Country Artist in 2022: The Year in Charts
For a second straight year, Wallen is the top country artist & his 'Dangerous' LP is the top country album.
Just as the 29-year-old singer-songwriter did in 2021, Sneedville, Tenn. native Morgan Wallen reigns as Billboard’s Top Country Artist of 2022. Concurrently, he finishes first as top country male artist.
Billboard’s year-end music recaps represent aggregated metrics for each artist, title, label and music contributor on the weekly charts dated Nov. 20, 2021 through Nov. 12, 2022. The rankings for Luminate-based recaps reflect equivalent album units, airplay, sales or streaming during the weeks that the titles appeared on a respective chart during the tracking year. Any activity registered before or after a title’s chart run isn’t considered in these rankings. That methodology details, and the November-November time period, account for some of the difference between these lists and the calendar-year recaps that are independently compiled by Luminate.
Explore All of Billboard’s 2022 Year-End Charts
Wallen’s Dangerous set is the No. 1 Top Country Albums title of 2022. The 30-track LP has led the weekly albums list for well over 80 frames. On April 2, when it rolled into its record-breaking 51st week, it made history as it surpassed the 50-week commands logged by Luke Combs’ This One’s For You and Shania Twain’s Come on Over.
Notably, the methodology for Top Country Albums changed as of the survey dated Feb. 11, 2017, when the chart switched from using a strictly album sales-based formula to one calculating multiple metrics, incorporating album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA), and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Thus, the steady streaming activity of Dangerous’ 30 songs has contributed to the set’s chart rank each week during its run.
Dangerous blasted in at No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart dated Jan. 23, 2021, with 265,000 equivalent album units earned. That marked the biggest week for a country album since Carrie Underwood’s Cry Pretty launched with 266,000 in September 2018. Wallen achieved the largest week for a solo male since Luke Bryan’s Kill the Lights began with 345,000 (August 2015).
Wallen also possesses the No. 1 and 2 hits of 2022 on Billboard’s streaming-, airplay and sales based Hot Country Songs. “Wasted on You,” which is from Dangerous, is the leading song of the year, while stand-alone single “You Proof” is No. 2.
“Wasted” rocketed atop the weekly Hot Country Songs survey in January 2021 and topped the tally for 11 weeks. “You Proof” debuted in the penthouse in May of 2022, giving the artist his sixth leader and his fifth No. 1 start, the most of any artist. “You Proof” also dominated the weekly Country Airplay chart for five frames — his longest running No. 1 among his seven chart-toppers.
Underwood Shines: Billboard’s Top Female Country Artist of 2022 is Carrie Underwood. She ranks 10th overall.
Underwood’s Denim & Rhinestones LP entered Top Country Albums at No. 2 on the chart dated June 25, marking her 10th top 10 in as many visits. Released June 10, the set earned 31,000 equivalent album units in its first week, with 22,000 of that sum in album sales, according to Luminate.
Underwood is the second-highest ranking woman on the Top Country Albums Artists recap (Taylor Swift is first) and Underwood is seventh among all artists.
On the list for top Country Airplay Artists of 2022 Underwood is the top female (12th overall). The artist’s hit “Ghost Story,” which reached No. 6 in October 2021 awarded Underwood with her landmark 30th song to reach the chart’s weekly top 10.
Since Country Airplay was launched in January 1990, Underwood is second among women with the most top 10s; Reba McEntire leads with 30.
Billboard’s Top Country Duo/Group of 2022 is Zac Brown Band. The act ranks first among duos and groups on the year-end Top Country Albums Artists recap, and 15th overall.
At the end of October 2021, ZBB released its seventh studio LP The Comeback which arrived at No. 3 on the weekly Top Country Albums chart with 19,000 units in its first week. It was the band’s 10th top 10.
Over on Country Airplay, ZBB achieved its first No. 1 in over five years when “Same Boat” (from The Comeback set), floated from 4-1 on the tally dated Dec. 4, 2021. It awarded the act with its 14th No. 1.
Billboard’s Top New Country Artist of 2022 is Zach Bryan who finished fifth on the overall Top Country Artists recap.
Bryan is also fifth on the Top Country Albums Artists roundup this year. Bryan’s American Heartbreak album ranks eighth on the year-end Top Country Albums titles list. The 26-year-old singer-songwriter from Oologah, Okla. released the hefty 34-track effort on May 20 and it entered atop the June 4 dated chart with 71,000 equivalent album units. Concurrently it bowed at No. 5 on the all-genre Billboard 200.
Also noteworthy for 2022, the group Parmalee’s “Take My Name” is No. 1 on the year-end Country Airplay Songs tally. The song led the survey for two weeks starting June 18. It gave the group its third No. 1, plus it remained in the top 10 for 21 weeks; the fourth longest run in the list’s upper tier in the almost 23-year history of the chart.